TweakUI alternative for a networked PC?
October 11, 2007 6:46 AM   Subscribe

LockdownFilter: Is there an feature-similar alternative to TweakUI that will run on a networked PC where Regedit & tweakUI are disabled by the administrator?

All I want to do is edit/delete the 'new filetype' icons in the Windows XP context (right-click) menu. I've found the simplest way to do this has been to use tweakUI, but it has been disabled by the domain administrator(s) of the PC I am currently using. Access to the other features of TweakUI would be nice as well!
posted by monkeyforest to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
TweakUI is a graphical frontend to registry editing with all the most popular registry tweaks compiled in one, easy to access and change, interface.

If you do not have access to regedit.exe then you may find it very difficult to make the changes you desire.

Do you know if you are restricted from importing registry keys? This would allow you to affect changes to the registry, but would not be as convenient as regedit.exe.

Maybe there is a good reason the system administrator has disabled these abilities? Have you considered talking to him/her about this and/or making a request to be granted permissions to allow this?

Especially if this is a corporate environment, you may find yourself in trouble trying to circumvent the security policies in place. Doesn't seem worth it for a small visual upgrade such as this.
posted by doomtop at 6:54 AM on October 11, 2007

Yes, I was thinking that maybe it would be more hassle than it's worth. I just find it helps my thought processes if my PC is set up exactly the way I like it.

It is a corporate environment, and I'm sure they wouldn't want to grant me access to the registry to make such small changes. Besides, the IT function is outsourced and they would charge a handsome premium for doing it!
posted by monkeyforest at 7:05 AM on October 11, 2007

Bribe the sysadmins with baked goods. They can apply reg changes remotely. (Disclaimer: I am a sysadmin; I can be bribed, up to a point, esp. if you make a good case)
posted by theora55 at 7:09 AM on October 11, 2007

Since this is a corporate environment...

From the perspective of an IT Manager, I would recommend that you make an official request, and accept the response, although you are likely to be turned down.

A user illicitly circumventing security policies to make registry changes (however small) is a liability.

It's not so much the fact that you want to change your context menu icons, which I see no problem with, but the fact that you are willing to break the rules for such a small change.

I could imagine this causing you much more trouble than it is worth.
posted by doomtop at 7:16 AM on October 11, 2007

Thanks. Think I will leave the registry well alone. Not worth getting my wrists slapped for (or worse)...
posted by monkeyforest at 7:30 AM on October 11, 2007

As a former IT manager, I'm a champion of corporate IT tyranny as much as the next guy if not more, but I second the suggestion to slide some baked goods to a helpdesk person (not a sysadmin -- please, please don't waste an SA's time on silly client crap!)

By the way, the change you want to make isn't a registry change, it's a modification to the contents of a directory on the filesystem (or more ideally for you, modification of the ACL for that directory).
posted by majick at 7:31 AM on October 11, 2007

If you are trying to just change the icons of the new filetypes, I believe these icons are actually set based on the type of file. So changing it would affect the icon for that filetype anywhere in the system (explorer, etc.).

You should be able to change this from explorer by opening Tools > Folder Options > File Types and scroll through the list until you find the filetype in question.

If you have access to this menu, you should be able to easily change the icon associated with the filetype without any direct registry modification.

If you want to change which filetypes appear in the menu however, I think you will need to adjust the registry.

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Discardable\PostSetup\ShellNew\Classes appears to contain the list of filetypes included in the New context menu.

If you find that you are able to import keys to the registry, you could create a registry key file that would change the settings when you import it.

If you do have the ability to do that, I suggest that you show your system administrator or supervisor, or whoever is appropriate, the change you want to make and that you have discovered a way to allow yourself to make this change without intervention from system administrator.

If you can get this approved, then you save the trouble of a system administrator allowing you to use regedit.exe or making the changes for you, as well as any cost that would be incurred by requesting their intervention.
posted by doomtop at 7:36 AM on October 11, 2007

Domain administrators disable stuff like TweakUI and Regedit because of the 80% of users who are utterly clueless and use them to break things, requiring unavailable sysadmin time to fix. Speaking as a sysadmin, it would be my absolute pleasure to help out somebody who showed signs of wanting to use TweakUI to do something sensible. theora55 gives good advice. Don't engineer your PC; social-engineer your sysadmin.
posted by flabdablet at 7:36 AM on October 11, 2007

If you're running on Windows XP, I believe there was a bug that allowed the REG command line tool to still edit the registry, even if REGEDIT was disabled by group policy. It won't work if they actually locked down the registry permissions themselves though.

But... finding a friendly sysadmin is probably the better option. Best way is to take up smoking so you'll meet them outside during smoke breaks ;)
posted by jon4009 at 12:52 PM on October 11, 2007

Huh, your question really didn't get answered, did it? Here you go:


I've been using it for years. Good stuff, worth registering.
posted by SlyBevel at 2:37 PM on October 12, 2007

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